media ownership

For a while that I have thought about media ownership. Although in Portuguese radio things are more or less transparent – at least, besides MCR there’s no foreign capital ( much as I could find) – in print and TV foreign investments worries me.

Media consolidation is not a new theme, but rather important in this “Um dia com os media”, taking place in Portugal. And while most discussions go around freedom of speech, one has to know about ownership to think about it.

I recently found through jornal Expresso that new ventures from Angolan investors may arrive into portuguese media, particularly Global Notícias, owner (still) of TSF and other print media. Which worries me, because there are already some Angolan investment in Portuguese media, which may attempt to diversity, plurality and other “ty” ended words. For instance, some of these investors are also interested in public service media (when and if it will be privatized) and already bought their way into Portuguese news through jornal Sol or another media group, Cofina as well as Imprensa.

Note that I nothing against international investment in media groups, if it will respect previous editorial guidance and, above all, if it doesn’t bring to that specific media, a privately held agenda. I know… I might be a little naive.

In fact, media ownership is so important to be aware of that I do believe in a sort of economic censorship that pressures journalists and media producers today. Dependency on brands is another sort of dependency, making media producers to get us into brands through editorial entertaining content (that is, branded content or even branded entertainment) in a sort of subliminal approach that let’s most media consumers surrender to brands. There’s more control over media resulting from media consolidation and concentration of ownership. Undeniable. And also to produce specific agendas that do not approach most controversial issues. And when those do have to arise, it is time to produce some entertaining controversy to have media consumers focusing on something else. Remember Wag the Dog?…..

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